Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All the eggs in one basket

Nobody hates having all the eggs in one basket as much as I do. Anyone's who's read this blog for any length of time is aware of the great lengths I'm willing to go to have backups. Some might say I've been known to take it to extremes.

Yet now I find myself relying heavily on my Internet connection. Of course, my computers are connected to the Internet. We get a fair amount of news and entertainment through our Roku device connected to the TV. We purchased the device to stream Netflix movies, but found it also connects to whole range of entertainment and news sources. Recently, I canceled my land line phone and went with a voice over Internet provider, Vonage.

Looks like a lot of eggs in the Internet basket.

Last night the Internet connection went down. We lost the computer connection of course. We were watching a Christmas program on Netflix, and the phones were also out of order.

Losing the connection to the TV is no big deal. We put in a DVD and watched that. Missed the Internet connection as I spend a lot of time on-line. The loss of the phone was a more serious issue. We have a cell phone, but to get a reliable signal, we have to go a few miles down the road.

Why did I bundle all those things into one system? For the same reason super tankers are built with only one propeller -cost. I save a lot of money doing things this way. It probably isn't all that much to most people, but anything that reduces my fixed monthly costs is worth considering.

Much of what we do as a civilization comes down to the bottom line. Just like pilling everything on my Internet connection, it's efficient, but vulnerable to disruption.

Eventually, the Internet came back up. Rebooting the network got everything working again. I hope it doesn't go down too often, as I'll have to rethink everything again.



  1. Since I travel a lot, I also have a Verizon internet connection device, but then, too, you need to be somewhere where there is cell phone service. But at home, if the internet or phone lines go down, I do have a back-up.

  2. My sense of preparedness is bumping up against my sense of frugality.

  3. Find a neighbor that has a different internet system from you and piggyback off their system when yours goes down, and let them piggyback off of yours when theirs goes down. You should be able to do this with a wireless router - the older systems will transmit up to 300 feet outdoors and the newer 'N' systems will transmit up to six hundred feet. Wifi systems can also be 'pig-tailed' to cover even more area. You could convince a neighbor, church, or community group to set up a 'community wifi' by getting everyone around the lake to pay a small fee to share the same wifi signal and set up the system (pig-tailed around the lake) next to the water so the signal will travel unimpeded.

  4. Jack: something to consider. I don't have a full time neighbor (on the Internet) within 600 feet. However, I did pick up a Nano Station but haven't had time to configure it yet. Might be able to reach out and pull in more distant signals.

  5. Yep you can chain the routers together, but it takes cracking them. It is a dirty secret the companies do not want people to know, but if you need serious distance get the proper one. You will burn a hacked router to jump its power for broadcasting. I can burn mine if I wanted. We joked about it, but you want to keep those limited to house distances.